Some interesting points from Persephone Miel’s short presentation on the findings of the year-long Media Re:public study:
-Usage of the term “legacy media” as opposed to “traditional media” and “citizen media” instead of “participatory media.” I find the term “citizen media” however, somewhat misleading, because the news generated on blogs or other open news sites does not necessarily represent views from a citizen’s perspective. To me, the concept of a “citizen” brings with it more responsibilities than we see being executed on the web.
-Credibility is more of an issue than ever, as can be seen in still-high readership/viewership for media that have good reputations, such as the NY Times or CNN.
-Democracy is a relative term, and large populations are unrepresented on the web. One of the most recent examples in South Korea was the U.S. beef issue. Representation on the web drastically leaned towards one side, with a hostile atmosphere unabling people of other opinions to voice their thoughts. One would think that the web gives people more freedom of speech, but due to the aggressiveness of people with strong opinions, opposing their ideas makes it easier for them to harrass you.
-Market failure: failure of advertising-based models is causing legacy media to downsize and shift scope of original reporting, yet this is creating a vicious circle in which more gaps are created in reporting and less media is becoming involved in in-depth investigative reporting. Perhaps we should examine new business models (such as spot.us, a community-funded news site)
I think that what with the floods of wire services and individual bloggers these days, news organizations need to focus more on quality, exclusive content. (But then, missing out on press briefings and other public events makes one lose a sense of what’s going on in the field. )
-Objectivity: Regarding objectivity, quoting B.D. Colen, “There is no such thing as objectivity [in news]. The best we can do is be fair.”
A more detailed summary is on Ethan Zuckerman’s blog, which I’m linking for future reference.